Earth photos

Tectonic plates. Land relief

Tectonic plates. Land relief

In 1960 the Plate Tectonics Theory was revealed to explain the formation of the Earth's relief. In it collaborated outstanding geologists, seismologists and geophysicists of the time. It is an update of the Continental Drift Theory, and is based on the continuous movements experienced by both the earth's crust and the ocean floor.

According to Plate Tectonics, the outermost part of the earth or lithosphere is formed by various rigid plates. These float on a hot layer of flexible materials, plastic or paste type, called asthenosphere. Its heat comes from the Earth's core, whose temperature is estimated at 4500 ° C.

The plates are in continuous movement, moving away or colliding with each other. That explains that the edges of the plates are the areas of the Earth that undergo major changes, due to geological phenomena such as earthquakes or volcano eruption.

The concept of the theory states that the plates, which are separated by mountain ranges or trenches, move very slowly. Through the center of these mountain ranges, molten material from the mantle rises continuously, while rocks from the oceanic crust descend to the mantle.

Said continuous movement, known as convection, causes molten material to flow to the surface. It emerges by the edges of the plates and by the solid lithosphere giving rise to new crust and modifying the terrestrial relief.

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Album: Photos of the Earth and the Moon Gallery: The land relief